They say you can either work hard or work smart.
Well, what if you don’t want to work at all?
That’s what BuzzFeed Español is for.
You might recognize this name from your Facebook newsfeed. BuzzFeed is well known as the medium used by the most masterful procratination artists out there. They work in BuzzFeed posts the same way other artists work in clay or oil paints.
Now, I’m not suggesting you’re a total procrastinator or anything like that. We all need a break from time to time.
When it’s time to put aside the textbook, turn to BuzzFeed.
Just hop on over to your computer with confidence and pizzaz, like:
And let the internet joyride commence.
Be confident in your online browsing.
Stop thinking of BuzzFeed as a guilty pleasure, and start seeing it as your new favorite Spanish learning tool.
The #1 Easiest Way to Learn Spanish: BuzzFeed Español
Do you remember that famous video about African farmers tasting the chocolate they’d been producing for the first time? You’re about to taste the fruits of your Spanish labor for the first time—ones that are downright delicious, but can be bad for your health in excess.
After studying Spanish enough to have some decent reading comprehension skills, a whole new part of the online world is opened up to you. You don’t just have the ability to read novels and ask native speakers where the grocery store is—you now have the ability to aimlessly wander the Spanish internet.
Why BuzzFeed Español Is Perfect for Spanish Learners
- You already love BuzzFeed, admit it. Even if you don’t have it bookmarked as your go-to procrastination homepage, you inevitably click on the BuzzFeed articles your friends post on Facebook—and they never fail to get a few laughs (except for the exceptionally bad ones).
- It’s a great replacement for your favorite internet comida chatarra (junk food). Whenever you want to procrastinate, at least you can make your procrastination time valuable by learning more Spanish. It’s kind of like when you go on a diet and replace your evening slice of chocolate cake with low-fat yogurt. You’re getting your dessert, but making it healthy instead of a guilty pleasure.
- Even if you hate BuzzFeed, you know BuzzFeed. The writing style has made a profound impression on our modern culture. Now everyone’s writing like BuzzFeed, pumping out snappy titles, lists of must-know information and slapping gifs and funny images in the middle of texts. You’re familiar with the writing style and with many of the subjects they typically cover, so you’ll know what’s happening even in Spanish.
- You already know what the posts are talking about. No curveballs here: BuzzFeed Español certinaly has posts dedicated to more obscure Latin American pop culture topics, but by and large you’ll find all the same old posts on mid-20s crises, lessons learned from dating disasters and “my face when” reaction gifs.
- It’s straightforward, simple and casual writing. Even in more polished published pieces (yes, there are some essays with social commentary and such) BuzzFeed still likes to use “straight talk,” which captures a more conversational style of speaking. No complex grammar or artistic vocabulary choices here—you’ll read Spanish the way people speak it (or, at least, the way they type it out in chatrooms and WhatsApp).
- Learn chill modern Spanish. You’ll get exposed to slang, expressions, loan words and idioms from casual, modern Spanish. Just think of how English BuzzFeed articles come across to readers. They sound relatable, and play on popular memes and ongoing jokes from around the internet. They stick everyday slang into articles. That’s what makes them so appealing to a wide audience!
- Get visual context. Posts are peppered with gifs, images and videos. You usually won’t get through more than two full sentences before spying another visual element.
10 Buzzworthy Ways to Use Buzzfeed Articles for Learning Spanish
1. Learn How Crappy Spanish Works
The whole world doesn’t use formal Spanish all the time. Heck, they don’t even use proper Spanish all the time. It’s common to spot signs that say “no votar basura” (instead of no botar basura – “no littering”) or “ielo” (instead of hielo – “ice”) while traveling through Latin America. There’s even a popular coffee brand called ‘Ta Rico. Slang, colloquialisms, dialects and accents all work their way into the official Spanish langauge, just like they do in the English-speaking world.
And it doesn’t stop there, because Spanish internet language and text messaging slang is becoming more and more a part of the official Spanish language too. In order to have native-like Spanish comprehension skills, you’ll need to learn about “improper” Spanish as well as proper textbook Spanish.
Check out this article called “17 Times Tumblr Showed Us How Complicated Spanish Is.” This will introduce you to all kinds of abnormal spellings and improper conjugation that native Spanish speakers come up with.
This post actually turns into something of a game for Spanish learners. Try guessing what the Spanish speaker was trying to write in the first place. For example, #1 is relatively easy. “No ay ielo.” The BuzzFeed writer even gives you a hint by saying that “hay persons que no saben que existe la letra ‘H'” (there are people who don’t know the letter H exists). We know then that the letter “H” was omitted here, and can figure out that this was supposed to say “No hay hielo.”
Number 5 might throw you for a loop until you see the produce in the background. Then it should all become clear—painfully clear. Take a look at the URL while you’re reading, and you’ll noticed the words mis-ojos-sangran (my eyes are bleeding) slipped right in there. You can’t say that BuzzFeed didn’t warn you.
2. Take a Quiz!
Quizzes are excellent active learning tools. You’ll have to really think about the questions in order to respond thoughtfully, as opposed to just clicking all willy nilly. After answering, you’ll get instant feedback.
Don’t worry—you typically don’t have to have any real knowledge on anything to get these quizzes done. BuzzFeed quizzes are just for fun, like those little quizlets you’d find in a Teen Vogue or something. You usually just answer according to your personal preferences or gut instincts, and then BuzzFeed tells you something new about yourself.
For example, “¿En qué ciudad latinoamericana deberías vivr?” asks you questions about yourself to narrow down choices of Latin American cities and find one which suits your preferences and personality. Question #3 might require a trip to WordReference if you’re not familiar with oddly specific Spanish words like sobaco (armpit) and seborrea (dermatitis marked by extremely scaly or oily skin). But, hey, you’re learning already!
Or which Latin diva are you? Simply answer the questions in “¿Qué diva latina eres?” and you’ll finally get an answer to this burning question. Once you discover your inner diva, then you can Google her and find some new telenovelas to watch.
You can also challenge your brain a little bit (just a little bit) by taking the quiz “¿Eres más inteligente que un niño de primaria?”—no relation to that terrible Jeff Foxworthy gameshow.
Okay, one more good one for you (especially for the Latin music fans out there). Try to guess who said each of the given quotes. Was it Ricardo Arjona or Henry Miller?
3. Delight in Shakira Gifs
This one is self-explanatory. Everyone loves Shakira—it’s up for debate if the English-speaking world loves her as much as Latin America does. Let’s just say that we all love her in her own way. There’s no end to posts highlighting Shakira shaking that thang and singing her world-famous tunes.
This choice article chronicles the life and times of Shakira for those of you who’ve never witnessed her evolution from Colombian folk-rocker to blonde Hollywood pop sensation.
4. Discover Kindred Spirits
BuzzFeed is great at relating to people. That’s its formula for success. That means that you’ll find plenty of posts that capture your life experiences and boil them down into fun, omg-that’s-so-me gifs.
Have you at some point been an expat abroad in the Spanish-speaking world (or anywhere for that matter)? Then you may well find that this post totally captures the feelings of interacting with locals in their home country. Were you a total ’90s kid? Then you’ll love looking back on the best stuff we had back in the ’90s.
Are you currently in your 20s or 30s? BuzzFeed is practically designed to good-naturedly mock the trials and tribulations of aging in the modern world.
Find articles that relate to your life and have a good chuckle.
5. Read Thoughtful Social Commentary
Yes, BuzzFeed can get serious. It knows how to set the gifs aside when necessary and provide some much-needed straight talk on pressing social issues. BuzzFeed has steadily gained notoriety for this amongst English-speaking citizens of the internet. BuzzFeed Español is working towards this same goal, gearing numerous posts towards social issues under heavy discussion in the Spanish-speaking world.
This takes the form of personal, compelling essays about how certain cultural perspectives affect people individually. The previous link will ship you off to an article where the writer discusses being a curvy girl in a society obsessed with curvy girls.
This BuzzFeed social commentary also takes the form of sweet and simple lists. The linked article here attempts to provide rebuttals to the harshest, more close-minded critics of feminism. While feminism is sorely needed in Latin America, it is all too common to see the concept get swatted away with the critical commentary featured here in the form of myths.
BuzzFeed has found a firm foothold in Mexico, so you’ll find that many articles pay particular attention to this corner of the world.
6. Get a Virtual Tour of Latin America
BuzzFeed Español got off to a rocky start, receiving significant (and pretty well-deserved) criticism for relying too heavily on articles translated from original English versions rather than providing content by and for Spanish speakers. While those pieces translated from English are beneficial to us language learners, we can also make great use of original Spanish-language content. The latter is more authentic and provides better insight into what’s going on around the world.
BuzzFeed Español’s first attempts at original Spanish content were colorful pieces on Latin American destinations—and these articles found huge success and a series was born. Check them out for yourself! Start with this lovely guide to must-see destinations in Guatemala, and then move on to explore all the other country-focused articles BuzzFeed Español has to offer.
7. Learn Regional Language and Traditions
The various regions of the Spanish-speaking world are extraordinarily diverse. From Spain to Mexico, the Caribbean, Argentina and Chile—it doesn’t matter where you go, you’ll stumble into a distinct language and culture. Ever seen that viral video “Qué difícil es hablar el español“? It’s dead-on accurate.
That’s why you need to start familiarizing yourself with regional language and traditions. Are you already a total local in Guatemala? Test your knowledge of the country’s nuances here. If you’re just getting acquainted with Guatemala, this tricky little quiz provides an awesome jumping-off point for you. Start asking around about the things you see on the list.
Get a taste of fabulous Mexican fashion sense. Read a brief but informative article regarding the President of Uruguay’s unique governing style. Or even watch a bunch of wicked fun Venezuelan commercials that resonate with the nation’s population—even if you aren’t looking to use popular culture to connect with Venezuelan people, watching videos in Spanish is always great language practice in general.
8. Get a Mini History Lesson
Basically, if people are into it, BuzzFeed will post about it. People are fascinated by history—no, not just the history of Spanish signs created by people with no tolerance for stupidity. Many newcomers to the site (and even long-time BF veterans) are surprised to find serious features on important historical figures. These tend to be exceptionally well-researched, informative and interesting to read.
But of course, BuzzFeed Español still has its usual penchant for spicing things up, and putting a uniquely tongue-in-cheek twist on history. This list of famous women is unified by the photographs of women looking like just they wanna say “IDGAF.” This list brings together the sexiest people spotted in various historical photographs. Who says history can’t be fun?
9. Learn About Latin American Pop Culture
While English BuzzFeed might bombard us with ’90s and ’00s nostalgia posts about things like Britney Spears and N’SYNC, BuzzFeed Español similarly relies on millennial nostalgia. Want to know what native Spanish speakers your age listen to when they want to experience a blast from the past? Well, they probably listen to their share of Britney too—I mean, that bad b*tch ruled the world for a certain period of time—but they also have their own collection of greatest modern hits.
Check out this post on “20 Spanish Songs That Turn 20 in 2015.” How many can you recognize? If your answer is “none,” then you desperately need to get yourself to a Spanish karaoke night.
And because people everywhere like American television series, here’s a facetious Argentinian take on how “Game of Thrones” would work if prominent Argentine pop culture figures ran the show. They really nailed it.
10. Go Back to English BuzzFeed
The Spanish language is part of the English-speaking world’s culture and society as well. Especially in the United States, learning Spanish can really serve you well—even when you stay within the borders of your home country. Many of us learn Spanish in middle school, high school or college, even if we’re not particularly good at it and don’t remember any of it after a year or two.
So, with that in mind, BuzzFeed has plenty of articles, quizzes and other content for English speakers who have had Spanish somehow involved in their lives. For example, BuzzFeed wants to know “How Well Can You Hold a Spanish Conversation?” It’s not so much a test of skills as it is a hilarious interactive joke, but you’ll need a little Spanish knowledge to follow along.
You can relive your past Spanish studying experiences by reminiscing about favorite moments in your old Spanish classrooms, or nod your head in agreement while reading about what it’s really like to study foreign languages at a university.
But wait—there’s more. If your vocabulary needs some work, check out this list of Spanish words that BuzzFeed deems especially beautiful.
Delight in all the fun (and sometimes frustrating) things that bilingual Spanish speakers face on a regular basis. You’ll also find a few good Spanish language lessons. Or perhaps consider whether or not these movie exports really do have the worst translated titles of all time.
So no matter how you want to use it, let BuzzFeed Español be your go-to site for learning Spanish while avoiding true work. Your procrastination skills can quickly become your best language-learning weapon!
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